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HealthCare.gov Styleguide: What and why

HealthCare.gov is a big, complicated technology project. From the start we’ve been supported by many development teams. This is a good thing as we benefit from having access to a big, diverse pool of talent and ideas. But too often we’ve worked in silos, with separate groups building different parts of the user experience – from reading an article to filling out an application to choosing a plan.

That’s not efficient. And in some cases it’s contributed to a disjointed experience for the consumer. Buying health insurance is already pretty complicated — users have to take a lot of steps and make some important decisions along the way. So we have to do our best to make the visitor’s experience on HealthCare.gov as smooth, intuitive, and unified as possible.

That’s why we’re developing this Styleguide. It’s a shared source of code, UI (user interface) components, UX (user experience) patterns, visual design elements, and other developer assets for our teams — and the broader web community — to use. It’s also a platform to collaborate, iterate, and improve.

Why we’re opening this work to the public

This HealthCare.gov Styleguide lets developers and designers across the digital community see what we’re doing, make suggestions, submit assets, and use our work for their own projects. We’ll look at ideas that come in, evaluate them, and adopt any that help us serve the public better. We’ll update the guide when we make changes.

This effort aligns with U.S. Digital Services Playbook — which among other things calls for federal digital projects to collaborate openly with the public, make use of relevant feedback, iterate to improve, and deliver products that meet people’s needs.

We hope you find the Styleguide useful. We hope you contribute to it. With your help, we’ll keep making HealthCare.gov better.